Money Mensch

Save on your water

By Martin Lewis, March 29, 2012

Water regulator Ofwat has announced that bills will jump on 1 April in England and Wales. The average rise will be 5.7 per cent but in one region it's 8.8 per cent. Now is the time to consider switching to a water meter and save £100s.

If you are billed, then what you pay depends roughly on your home's rentable value.


Spring clean your outgoing expenses

By Martin Lewis, March 22, 2012

You could be throwing hundreds or thousands of pounds a year away on things that you no longer need, use or value. So with Passover on its way, why not give up wasting your bread as well as eating it. Be a "cancellation hero", do a super-audit and banish bank balance bandits.

1. Don't assume: "I don't do that." Always check


How to stop spam

By Martin Lewis, March 15, 2012

Spam has become a modern plague. It is important to know how to minimise the problem.

For spam calls, sign up your home phone and mobile to the Telephone Preference Service It is illegal for UK firms to call those who have registered. There is also which helps minimise the number of silent calls you get.


It's important to grow old thriftily

By Martin Lewis, March 8, 2012

The older you are the more your cash needs to look after you. With many "older" households struggling, prevention is better than cure. Here are 10 crucial tips for the over 50s.

● Never just take your pension company's offer. If you have been saving money in a pension, at retirement it is likely you will need to buy an annuity.


Insulate a home and earn £100 from energy firms

By Martin Lewis, March 1, 2012

Energy providers all have "Carbon Emission Reduction Targets" aimed at tough-to-reach groups, which means if they don't pump the cash out they get big fines.

Up to £300-worth of cavity wall and loft insulation is being doled out by energy companies - both Eon and Tesco do it even if you are not their customer.


Hot tips for a cheap Summer holiday

By Martin Lewis, February 23, 2012

Good holiday money-saving is all about timing. The key to minimum cost and maximum holiday enjoyment is pre-planning. Here are my top 10 need-to-know-nows if you are heading abroad:

● You need insurance in place when you book

Otherwise if something goes wrong, you won't be covered for cancellation.


European health insurance

By Martin Lewis, February 16, 2012

The free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gets you treatment in state-run EU hospitals at the same price as locals. It can get you free or discounted medical care in all 27 EU countries, plus a few others.

So if it is free for them then it is free for you, if they pay you pay. Yet many cards are lapsing - four million are due to expire this year.


Cash for phones

By Martin Lewis, February 2, 2012

There are so many television adverts for mobile phone-buying websites offering cash for old handsets. But the price they pay varies daily, based on the company and the phone. For example, on one day the same 16GB iPhone4 in good condition could earn between £114.07 and £255 (for top condition).

So it really is worth a rummage through your drawers to see if your old handset is worth anything.


Money myths, separate fact from fiction

By Martin Lewis, January 26, 2012

Did you know that you accidentally swallow eight spiders a year in your sleep? Or that you only use 10 per cent of your brain? Fortunately, these are not true. They are urban myths.
But there are worse myths abound in the money world, which can be dangerous as they lead to bad decision making.


It's time to haggle

By Martin Lewis, January 19, 2012

We will barter with the best in a holiday market but on home turf many become complacent and cowardly, thinking that haggling is rude. Yet when demand is low, companies prefer to reduce prices than lose custom.

Right now, when sales are still on, the high-street is open to reductions.